Wednesday, 14th September 2022

Table of contents

1   News Snapshot

●  

Hydrogen Fuel - Edukemy Current Affairs

●  

2 years of Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana

●  

“Review of Guardianship and Adoption Laws” Report

2   Terms & Concepts

●  

Serious Fraud Investigation Office

●  

Broken Rice: India’s export - Edukemy Current Affairs

●  

Content Moderation: Wikipedia - Edukemy Current Affairs

●  

Quantum Computing - Edukemy Current Affairs

3   Editorial of the day

●  

Time for a joint space exercise: The Hindu

●  

Boosting Education Access: India's HDI Challenge

4   Case Study of the Day

●  

‘Dry’ Bihar to turn liquor bottles into glass bangles

.... Show less Show more
News Snapshot

Hydrogen Fuel - Edukemy Current Affairs


Germany has recently launched the world’s first fleet of fully hydrogen-powered trains.

About the News:

  • These trains which are claimed to be ‘emissions-free’, can reach speeds of 140 kilometres per hour and can run about 1,000 km before the tank runs dry which can be again be refuelled in 15 minutes at customised hydrogen-fuelling stations.
  • These trains were produced by Alstom, a French multinational company and were inaugurated in Germany as a pilot run in 2018.
  • Across the European Union, almost half (44 per cent) of the railway lines are not electrified thus leaving lines that require diesel or other long-range alternatives like hydrogen as the only option.

  • However, these trains have been questioned for their environmental efficiency, considering that the CO2 emitted by grey hydrogen is the same as that emitted by petrol and 1,000 times more than natural gas burnt directly.

Important features of the train:

  • Cell-based locomotives: They are powered by fuel cells’ — a special kind of battery that produces electricity when hydrogen (stored in tanks above the coaches) and oxygen (taken from the air) combine which are then used to power electric motors at the bottom of the train coach.
  • Track lines: These trains are designed specifically for the use of non-electrified lines as, railway tracks that do not have electric lines running over them or which are too costly to electrify.
  • Reducing carbon footprint: Replacing one diesel train with a hydrogen train reduces the yearly CO2 emission by 4,400 tonnes every year.

Major challenges:

  • Expensive: Green hydrogen is up to five times more expensive than ‘grey’ hydrogen produced from natural gas or worse, ‘brown’ hydrogen produced from coal.
  • Polluted process: Due to its production process, grey hydrogen emits 1,000 times more CO2 than directly burned natural gas and is equivalent to that of gasoline.
  • Miniscule footprint: Green hydrogen makes up only 0.03 per cent of global hydrogen production and is way too expensive than the other two.

  • Limited impact: Although the alternative ‘blue’ hydrogen costs 1.5-3 times more than grey or even the cheaper brown hydrogen, with only 0.73 per cent of the world’s hydrogen being actually clean it is not a very promising contribution to climate change.
  • Costly affair: Until green hydrogen becomes a cheaper alternative, it may just be the oil and gas sector’s convenient way of hoodwinking the masses into thinking it is an easy and green way into the future.

What can be done?

  • Switching to blue hydrogen: World should push for ‘blue’ hydrogen, which is grey hydrogen coupled with additional installations for carbon capture and storage incorporated into the production facility.
  • Recycling: Capturing can help in reusing up to 90% of the CO2 emitted during hydrogen production and prevent them from escaping into the atmosphere.
  • Switching to renewables: Governments should implement a plan for renewables and increase in domestic production capacity of green hydrogen.
  • Scope in India:
    • Status: India currently has around 13,500 trains running every day with nearly 5,000 (37 per cent) of these being diesel locomotives and the rest fully electrified.
    • Potential: There is a potential for India to save more than 24 million tonnes of CO2 emissions every year and 2,400 million litres of diesel fuel (and associated costs) if these trains are switched to hydrogen.
    • Initiatives Taken:The Union Budget for 2021-22 has announced a National Hydrogen Energy Mission (NHM) that will draw up a road map for using hydrogen as an energy source.
    • Other associated initiatives include:
      1. Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission. (JNNSM)
      2. International Solar Alliance
      3. PM-KUSUM
      4. National Wind-solar Hybrid Policy
      5. Rooftop Solar Scheme

Source:

  • https://www.downtoearth.org.in/blog/world/germany-s-emissions-free-trains-is-hydrogen-fuel-really-a-better-alternative-for-transport--84807

 

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Keywords: General studies III: Science and tech, Hydrogen fuels, environment
News Snapshot

2 years of Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana


In news

Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) has recently completed 2 years of its successful implementation.

  • By the end of 2024–2025, 68 lakh jobs are expected to be created under the plan.

About Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana

  • The Government of India launched PMMSY as a component of the "Atma Nirbhar Bharat" package with an investment of Rs. 20,050 crores, the largest ever in the fishing industry.
  • Under the initiative, fishermen are given access to financial aid, insurance coverage, and the Kisan Credit Card service.
  • Aim: By exploiting rural resources and quickly strengthening the rural economy, PMMSY strives to achieve the goal of rural development.
    • In the fisheries industry, PMMSY's primary tagline is "Reform, Perform, and Transform."
  • The PMMSY scheme's objectives and changes have been ingrained in:

 

    • Core & trunk infrastructure development,
    • Modernization of Indian fisheries,
      • Push for new fishing harbours/landing centres,
      • Modernisation and mechanization of traditional fishermen crafts-trawlers-deep sea-going vessels,
      • Provision of post-harvest facilities to reduce post-harvest loss,
      • Cold chains facilities,
      • Clean and hygienic fish markets
      • Two-wheelers with ice boxes

How does it work?

  • It is put into practice as an umbrella scheme with two distinct parts, namely:
    • Central Sector Scheme: The central government will bear the project's costs.
    • Centrally Sponsored Scheme: The States/UTs will carry out all of the supporting components and activities, and the Center and State will split the associated costs.

Global Scenario

  • The sector of fisheries experienced exceptional growth between 2019–20 and 2021–2022 of 3%.
  • A record-breaking 141.64 lakh tons of fish were produced in 2019–20, and that figure grows to 87 lakh tons in 2021–22.

  • Shrimp exports accounted for the majority of the 64 lakh tonnes worth of exports in the fishing industry, valued at Rs 57,587 crore.
  • Exports are currently being made to 123 nations, including China, Thailand, Japan, Taiwan, Tunisia, the US, Hong Kong, Kuwait, etc.
  • 47 lakh farmers have received support from PMMSY through insurance coverage from 22 states and 7 UTs.

Upcoming Strategy

  • The promotion of aquaculture would be prioritized in North India's saline and alkaline regions.
  • A coordinated laboratory network will support the focus on aquatic health management, which will address disease, antibiotic, and residue issues.

What needs to be done?

  • The foundation of PMMSY consists of fisheries and fish breeders.
    • By using technology, public stocking, and programs to restore water bodies through river and sea ranching, we can harness the full potential of our reservoirs and natural resources.
  • For India to become the most productive nation in the world, scientific methods must be used in fish farming.

Content Source Link:

  • https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1858281,
  • https://www.indiangovtscheme.com/2022/09/pradhan-mantri-matsya-sampada-yojana.html,
  • https://newsonair.gov.in/News?title=PM-Matsya-Sampada-Yojana-completes-Two-years&id=447436,

Image Source Link:

  • https://twitter.com/pib_india/status/1265306730977771520?lang=ar-x-fm,

 

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Keywords: GS paper II & III, Government Policies & Interventions, GROWTH & DEVELOPMENT, Mobilization of Resources, Agricultural Marketing, Food Processing
News Snapshot

“Review of Guardianship and Adoption Laws” Report


In News:

  • In a recent report titled "Review of Guardianship and Adoption Laws," the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, and Law and Justice has advocated district-level surveys to find orphaned and abandoned children.

About the Recent Notification

  • DMs have the authority to issue adoption orders instead of courts as of September 1.
  • All court-pending matters must now be transferred.
  • Numerous adoptive parents are now worried that the transfer procedure would prolong what is already a protracted and tiresome process.
  • When the succession and inheritance rights of an adopted kid are questioned in court, it is unclear if an executive order will hold up.

Key Highlights of the Report

  • As of December 2021, there were over 18,000 more prospective parents registered with the Child Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) than there were in 2017.
  • As the central authority for the adoption of Indian children, the Ministry of Women & Child Development's CARA is tasked with overseeing and regulating both domestic and international adoptions.
  • While there were 6,996 orphaned, abandoned, and surrendered kids living in childcare facilities who could have been adopted, only 2,430 of them were "legally free" to be adopted by Child Welfare Committees.
  • In the last five years, the adoption waiting period has increased from one year to three years.
  • Only 3,175 children were adopted in total in 2021–2022.

What is Adoption?

  • Adoption is the legal process through which a child is legally separated from his biological parents and legally coupled with his adoptive parents.
  • All of the rights, advantages, and obligations that come with being a biological child apply to the adoptive child.

Key Recommendations

  • Every district should host a monthly meeting under the direction of the District Magistrate to "guarantee that orphan and abandoned children found begging in streets are produced before the Child Welfare Committee and are made available for adoption at the earliest."
  • Not finding more children and placing them up for adoption should be the goal, but rather making sure that no child is left without access to safety nets.

 

    • Because there are so many adoptive parents waiting, such activity should focus on finding those who are truly orphaned instead of trying to increase the number of adoptable children available.
    • Otherwise, children from low-income families may be taken from them.
  • A paradigm shift is required that goes beyond children's "custodial" requirements, such as food and shelter, and instead focuses on their rights in order to connect them to nurturing families.
  • Parental care for many children is not always the best.
    • When parents abuse or neglect their own children, there is a sufficient safety net in place to ensure that the youngsters can receive the assistance they require. Adoptions were centralised in 2015 due to the malpractice that results from doing otherwise.

Adoption Rules in India

  • The Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956 (HAMA):
    • A Hindu parent or guardian is permitted by the Act to place a child for adoption with another Hindu couple.
    • The Act prohibits the adoption of an orphan, an abandoned child, or a child who has been turned over to a specialized adoption agency (SSA) or institution for child care.
    • Adoptions that take place across borders are not covered by this Act.
  • Juvenile Justice Act, 2015:
    • It deals with difficulties with children who are in need of care and protection as well as those who are in conflict with the law, and it only offers a brief chapter on adoptions.
    • For adoptive parents, each law has a different set of requirements.
    • A specialized adoption agency conducts a home study report after applicants for the JJ Act have registered on the CARA portal.
    • A child who has been deemed legally available for adoption is forwarded to the applicant once it determines that the candidate is eligible for adoption.
    • A "dattaka hom" ceremony, an adoption deed, or a court order are all required under HAMA in order to secure irrevocable adoption rights.

Issues With Child Adoption

Practical Issues associated with Adoption

Red-Tapism

No Rules for Monitoring Adoption

Lopsided Ratio of Abandoned Children to Children in Institutionalised Care

No Rules for Verifying Sourcing of Children and determining whether Parents are fit to adopt

Concerns regarding Age of Child

Only Few children are available for adoption according to CARA’s registry

Racism based on Lineage

According to the latest figures, there are merely 2188 children for adoption against a pool of 31,000 parents willing to adopt.

What needs to be done?

  • A shift from a parent-centric to a child-centric mindset is required in the adoption ecosystem.
  • To foster an atmosphere of acceptance, progress, and well-being and to acknowledge children as equally important participants in the adoption process, it is necessary to adopt an inclusive strategy that prioritizes the needs of a kid.

Content Source Link:

  • https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/as-new-rules-for-jj-act-come-into-force-dms-assume-powers-to-issue-adoption-orders/articleshow/93958231.cms,
  • https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/new-adoption-rules-create-confusion/article65875381.ece,

Image Source Link:

  • https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/new-adoption-rules-create-confusion/article65875381.ece

 

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Keywords: GS paper II, Indian Constitution, Issues related to Children, Human Resource
Terms & Concepts

Serious Fraud Investigation Office


  • Context: The Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) has arrested the alleged mastermind of a widespread racket involving the setting up of shell companies with Chinese links and the supply of dummy directors.
  • SFIO is a fraud investigation agency set up to solve serious, complex frauds under the Companies Act, 2013. It is a statutory institution, under the Ministry of Corporate Affairs and was set up in 2003.

  • It is a multi-disciplinary organization consisting of experts in the field of accountancy, forensic auditing, law, information technology, investigation, company law, capital market and taxation for detecting and prosecuting or recommending the prosecution of white-collar crimes/frauds.
  • These experts are responsible for detecting and resolving crimes while working in tandem with the Income Tax Department and the Central Bureau of Investigation.
  • SFIO cannot, by its own virtue, take up a case. The body only acts upon the order given by the Union Government.
  • It has the powers of arrest-to-arrest people from and involved in the fraud, though they’re specific to Director, Additional Director and Assistant Director.
  • The prime cases handled by SFIO include the Satyam Scam and the Deccan Chronicle Holding Ltd (DCHL).

Source:

  • https://www.livemint.com/news/india/centre-cracks-down-on-shell-companies-sfio-to-probe-33-companies-11662875296607.html
  • https://www.mca.gov.in/content/mca/global/en/about-us/affiliated-offices/sfo.html

Image Source:

  • https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/serious-fraud-investigation-office-opens-probe-into-protestant-church-body-after-complaints-of-discrepancies/articleshow/53106502.cms

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 3: Economy, Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO)
Terms & Concepts

Broken Rice: India’s export - Edukemy Current Affairs


  • Context: The Union government has recently banned the export of broken rice while flagging an increase in its price, a shortage in supply for domestic requirements and, significantly, an “abnormal” increase in exports.
  • The move came a day after the government imposed a 20% export duty on all non-basmati rice except par-boiled rice.
  • Broken rice is often used in the manufacture of feed for very young animals and for pets.Further, it is used for all types of livestock and is particularly suitable due to its rich caloric value and low fibre content.

  • It is also used in the brewing industry, where it is mixed with barley and the production of arak (aniseed alcoholic drink, distilled, colourless drink).
  • It is a raw material for rice flour, used in baby food, breakfast cereals, rice wine, rice liqueur, sake, and prepackaged and canned foods.
  • The government banned the exports due to the fact that broken rice exports increased 42 times to 21.31 lakh metric tonnes (LMT)in 2022 as compared to 0.51 LMT during the corresponding period of 2019.
  • Also, there has been less domestic production and paucity in the local market thereby affecting ethanol production for blending with petroleum.

Source:

  • https://indianexpress.com/article/business/commodities/india-bans-export-of-broken-rice-8140444/

Image source:

  • https://indianexpress.com/article/business/commodities/india-bans-export-of-broken-rice-8140444/

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 3: Economy: Transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints, broken rice
Terms & Concepts

Content Moderation: Wikipedia - Edukemy Current Affairs


  • Context: Recently, India summoned officials of Wikipedia, in response to renowned cricketer Arshdeep Singh’s Wikipedia page being edited with misleading information.
  • Wikipedia is a free Internet-based encyclopedia,started in 2001, that operates under an open-source management style.
  • It is overseen by the nonprofit “Wikimedia Foundation” and is maintained by acommunity of volunteers through open collaboration and a wiki-based editing system.
  • Anyone can contributeto their pool of knowledge by making edits to existing pages for updating or correction and can even add new pages.
  • The architecture of Wikipedia is that of an intermediarye.,it hosts content generated by its users.

  • Under the majority of laws regulating online content,intermediaries are endowed with immunity from the user-generated content they host, provided they maintain some due diligence over their platforms.
  • Section 69A of IT Act 2000 confers on the Central and State governmentsthe power to issue directions “to intercept, monitor or decrypt any information generated, transmitted, received or stored in any computer resource”.
  • Under Section 79 of IT Act 2000, intermediaries can claim the “safe harbour”of not being responsible for the content they host, considering they abide by due diligence requirements under the Act and its Rules.
  • As per the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, there are certain categories of information that an intermediaryshould not allow to be hosted or uploaded on its platform.

Source:

  • https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/technology/explained-content-moderation-on-wikipedia/article65862434.ece

Image source:

  • https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/technology/explained-content-moderation-on-wikipedia/article65862434.ece

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 3: Awareness in the field of IT, Content Moderation, Wikipedia, IT Act, IT Rules 2021.
Terms & Concepts

Quantum Computing - Edukemy Current Affairs


  • Context: According to a recent study by IBM, India is observed to be witnessing a growing interest in quantum computing, with students, developers, and academia actively participating.
  • Quantum computing is fundamentally a different way of processing information compared to today’s classical computing systems.

  • Classical computers store information as binary 0 and 1 states, whereas quantum computers carry out calculations using quantum bits(qubits), which allows for exponentially larger calculations and gives them the potential to solve complex problems.
  • Quantum computers tap into the quantum mechanical phenomenon, of the fundamental laws of nature, to manipulate information and shed light on processes of molecular and chemical interactions, address difficult optimisation problems, and boost the power of artificial intelligence. 
  • Although quantum computing is still at the stage of development, it has already witnessed an enormous improvement in this field since its birth as a theory in the 1980s.
  • The world’s most powerful quantum computer now is the Eagle, developed by the International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) with a capacity of 127 qubits. However, scientists suggest that quantum computers are not commercially useful if their capacity does not reach at least 1,000 qubits. 
  • Quantum Computing may be the next greatest advancement in humanity:
    • Healthcare - developing medicines for different incurable diseases by tracking the molecular data of human bodies
    • Energy - optimising the energy efficiency of cities, countries, and even the world.
    • Finance - ability to calculate outcomes in the stock market, more accurate risk assessments, precise calculations of credit etc
    • Climate Forecasting - potentially predict the weather, thus giving more time to prepare for disasters.

Source:

  • India witnessing growing interest in quantum computing: IBM - The Hindu
  • https://www.digicert.com/blog/the-impact-of-quantum-computing-on-society

Image source:

  • https://www.cbinsights.com/research/report/quantum-computing/

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 3, Science and Technology, Quantum computing
Editorial of the day

Time for a joint space exercise: The Hindu


Essence – The article talks about the India-US Joint military exercise that is to take place in October in Auli, Uttarakhand. It calls for such strategic exercises to be extended to include simulated space warfare exercises. It would take the India-US defence ties to the next orbit and will send a strong message to the common adversary while creating a ripple effect for a wider Quad.

The article further calls for better utilization of platforms such as the Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI). While India’s move to establish Defence Space Agency (DSA) and Defence Space Research Agency (DSRA) is a welcome one, India needs to take its Mission Shakti and IndSpaceX to the next level.

The article highlights that one should not see this as an unnecessary provocation to China and a step that can trigger the militarization of space. It is so because China, like Russia, the US and some other countries are already in the race to go beyond GEOs and LEOs to outer space and the moon. The actual joint India-US Space exercises can actually act as deterrence to the growing Chinese aggression and threat.

Why should you read this editorial?

  • To understand the importance of space in defence and security.
  • To know the potential future and areas of cooperation between India and the US.

Source:

  • https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/time-for-a-joint-space-exercise/article65861264.ece

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 2, GS Paper 3, India-US Relations, Defence Space Agency, DSA, DSRA, ASAT
Editorial of the day

Boosting Education Access: India's HDI Challenge


Essence – The editorial discusses the decline in HDI growth and the adverse impact of inequality on it as pointed out in the recently released Human Development Index by UNDP. It has compared the HDI growth rate of the past three decades. It discusses India’s performance in the Index in detail and highlights the underlying reasons for its deteriorating performance, which include the decline in GDP, and the impact of Covid19 on health and education. It also presents a comparison with other developing countries and highlights the unique case of India which has suffered a decline in all three dimensions of the index.

Towards the end, it elaborates on the added impact of inequality on India’s HDI which has caused a further slip in its ranking. It points out the presence of double inequality in health and education and compared it with low, medium, high and very high HDI countries. At last, it recommends making quality education more accessible as the way forward.

Why should you read this editorial?

  • To know about the trend of HDI in the world.
  • To know the reason for stagnating HDI growth.

Source:

  • https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/the-solution-to-indias-stunted-improvement-on-the-human-development-index-improving-access-to-quality-education-8149358/

 

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Keywords: GS2, Issues relating to the development
Case Study of the Day

‘Dry’ Bihar to turn liquor bottles into glass bangles


Background:

In dry Bihar, the government has now decided to set up factories to make glass bangles out of seized liquor bottles through its Rural Livelihoods Promotion Programme, which is locally known as JEEVIKA.

About the news

  • In Bihar, liquor has been banned since 2016 and every month lakhs of illegal liquor bottles are seized and crushed and treated as garbage.
  • But, now these bottles will be given to JEEVIKA workers who are trained in making glass bangles.
  • The State Excise and Prohibition department has allocated ₹1 crore to set up a glass-making factory in Patna and send JEEVIKA women for training in bangle-making to other states.
  • However, not everyone is enthusiastic about the idea because:

 

    • There are established glass bangle factories in Faizabad, Mumbai, and Hyderabad, which constitute about 80% of glass bangle-making products. So, competing with well-established industries by innovation in Bihar might seem difficult.
    • Along with Glass, soda and limestone are needed in making Bangles. But, there is no clarity as to who would provide these additional products.
  • Funded by the World Bank, JEEVIKA is a rural social and economic empowerment programme, which has the following components:
    • Community Institution Development will build and strengthen primary and federated social and economic community institutions'
    • Community Investment Fund involves the transfer of financial and technical resources to the Community Based Organisations on a demand-driven basis for use as a catalyst to improve their livelihoods
    • Technical Assistance Fund will improve the quantity and quality of service provision by the public, cooperative, community and private service providers.
    • Project Management will facilitate overall coordination, implementation, and financial management, monitoring and learning of the project at state and district levels.

Quote: Unless we address our unserved broadband challenges in our urban, suburban, and rural areas, we will not have equitable access for all and achieve the economic recovery that we need - Ned Lamont

Source:

  • Dry’ Bihar to turn liquor bottles into glass bangles

Image source:

  • https://documents1.worldbank.org/curated/en/268451590646314944/pdf/Measuring-Empowerment-JEEViKA-s-Success-in-Empowering-the-Women-of-Rural-Bihar-Results-from-a-Retrospective-Survey.pdf

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 2: Welfare Schemes for Vulnerable Sections of the population by the Centre and States and the Performance of these Schemes: Jeevika, Bihar
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